The operator and co-owner of a San Diego-based pornographic website pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal counts of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 40, admitted to recruiting numerous women under false pretenses to appear in pornographic videos that would be posted and widely distributed on GirlsDoPorn.com. Prosecutors said Wolfe operated the website from 2011 until his arrest in October 2019.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Wolfe was the website operator and co-owner, and he oversaw the company’s financial books, operated various business entities that were used to promote the business, and filmed approximately 100 videos to ultimately distribute on the internet.
Prosecutors said Wolfe admitted to telling women that the videos would never be posted online, despite knowing the videos were exclusively marketed and distributed on the internet. He also admitted to promising that the videos would never be released in the United States and that nobody would recognize the women or discover the videos.
The website and its operators were also sued by 22 women featured in its videos, and a San Diego judge awarded the women nearly $13 million at the end of a civil trial.
Wolfe also admitted that he was aware that personal identifying information and social media accounts for some women were being posted on pornwikileaks.com, according to the U.S Attorneys' office. The website was controlled by Micheal James Pratt of New Zealand native, dedicated to “exposing” the true identities of individuals appearing in sex videos.
Prosecutors say the exposed information subjected the victims to severe harassment, but Wolfe continued to assure models under false pretenses. Pratt remains at large.
“Wolfe lied to and preyed on vulnerable young women, subjecting them to years of relentless harassment, fear, and mental anguish,” said Stacey Moy, special agent in charge of the FBI San Diego Field Office.
The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Pratt’s arrest. Special Agent William McNamara said he is the co-conspirator who owned and operated a pornography production company and online pornography websites named "GirlsDoPorn" and "GirlsDoToys." Pratt's pornography websites generated more than $17 million in revenue.
Last year, the FBI said it was offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Special Agent William McNamara of the FBI's San Diego field office said last October, “We know there are people that are helping Pratt'' and “We believe he is likely still victimizing others.''
Others prosecuted include porn actor Ruben Andre Garcia, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Wolfe trained co-defendant Theodore Gyi, a cameraman, on how to run video shoots and told Gyi that, if asked, to lie to the women about its publication.
Gli and administrative assistant Valorie Moser have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
“This crime had a devastating impact on the victims,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We will seek justice for human trafficking victims in hopes that it will help them reclaim their lives and leave the pain of this experience in the past.”